Cinesite acquires majority stake in Quebec-based Squeeze animation studio

Global animation company, Cinesite, which has studios in London, Montreal and Vancouver, announced last week it has acquired a majority stake in animation studio Squeeze, located in Quebec City and Montreal. 

The investment in Squeeze will allow Cinesite “to further increase its animation content and service offerings for international markets while bringing mocap (motion capture) and Unreal capabilities into the group to service video game and film productions,” according to a press release.

Squeeze was co-founded in 2011 by Denis Doré and Patrick Beaulieu, who were joined in 2014 by François Houde, the studio’s current chief financial officer. The animation studio has a creative team of more than 200 artists and technical experts.

Squeeze clients include Disney, Marvel, Universal, Illumination, Supercell, Warner Bros. and Ubisoft. The company has a mocap studio in Montreal and is also the creator of Cracké, an animated TV series broadcasted in over 210 territories and counting over 600 million views worldwide on digital platforms.

Squeeze will retain its brand and its staff will continue to work under the leadership of Doré and Houde. 

“Squeeze is a fantastic addition,” Cinesite Group CEO Antony Hunt said in the release, “not only for its successful original IP Cracké and for its world-class animation portfolio, but also for its mocap capabilities and scale, and the opportunity to further enhance a dynamic Montreal based hub for the Cinesite group as a rapidly growing family entertainment powerhouse.”

Doré added: “I’m very pleased to see Squeeze join a leading group like Cinesite, we share a common vision of creation and commercialisation of original animation content and, most importantly, fundamental values such as excellence, humility and integrity. Besides helping us strengthen our leadership position with our entertainment elite partners, this alliance will benefit our talented artists so they can deliver bigger than life character performances.”

Squeeze is the fifth studio to join the Cinesite group following Image Engine in 2015, Nitrogen Studios (renamed Cinesite Vancouver) in 2017, German VFX studio Trixter in 2018 and L’Atelier Animation last month. 

Over 780 employees now work for the Cinesite group across Canada, delivering animated content under the Cinesite, L’Atelier Animation and Squeeze brands.

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